Student Visa For Australia


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Visa information

Australia introduced a simplified student visa framework (SSVF) on July 1st 2016. Under the SSVF all visa applications by international students and education agents are processed online by creating an account on ImmiAccount(opens in a new window).

Student visa (Subclass 500)

All of the following types of study are included on this visa. For more information about student visas, visit Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window):

  • independent ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students)
  • schools (primary and secondary)
  • secondary school exchange program
  • vocational education and training (VET)
  • higher education
  • postgraduate research
  • non-award courses
  • international students sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs or Defence.

Other visa options

For shorter periods of study, you can apply for a Visitor or Working Holiday Visa. There is also a visa option specifically for student guardians.

Visitor Visa (Subclasses 600, 601, 651)

  • Maximum 3 months study.
  • Intention to visit Australia is genuine.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Sufficient money to support yourself during stay in Australia.

Read more about Visitor Visas(opens in a new window) on the Department of Home Affiars website.

Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417 and 462)

  • Maximum 4 months study.
  • Aged 18 to 30 years and hold an eligible passport.
  • Principal purpose to holiday in Australia.
  • Enter or remain in Australia as a genuine visitor.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Sufficient funds for airfares and personal support for stay in Australia.

Read more about Working Holiday Visas(opens in a new window) on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Student Guardian (Subclass 590)

  • Provides for certain persons to reside with a student in Australia, where the student requires a guardian, ie: the student is under 18 years of age.
  • Study up to 3 months or study ELICOS for 20 hours per week for duration of visa.
  • Meet Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement.
  • Sufficient funds for airfares and living costs.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Acceptable health insurance.

Read more about Student Guardian visas(opens in a new window) on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485)

  • This visa allows eligible international students who have completed an Australian education to stay in Australia to gain work experience.
  • You can work in Australia for a period of 18 months and up to 4 years, depending on your qualification.
  • This visa does not restrict the type of work you may do or the number of hours you may work.
  • Applications for this visa must be made in Australia and you must hold an eligible student visa in the last 6 months.
  • You must meet Australian study, English proficiency, health insurance, health and character requirements.
  • You must meet the specific requirements of the stream in which you are applying for this visa.

Read more about Temporary Graduate visas(opens in a new window) on the Department of Home Affairs website.


Visa options and requirements are sometimes subject to change. In order to stay up to date, the best place to get accurate information is on the Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window) website. The website provides comprehensive information on the types of visas available for different levels of study in Australia, including people considering bring family members with them (whether guardians, partners/spouses or children). You will also have access to help and advice about your specific visa requirements.
Another option is to contact an education agent, who can help with your visa application, course application, and answer any other questions.

For people who want to study in Australia on a temporary basis

To be eligible to apply for a study visa:

You must have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Australia.

You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your:

Tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Australia and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Australia.

You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Australia. You may have to provide a police certificate.

You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.

You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Australia when you have completed your studies.

Apply online for a free assessment, and we will take care of the rest. 

For detail information about student visas such as eligibility, required documents, applying steps and fees, please follow this link:

You will be able to work under an Australian student visa beneath certain conditions. The type of student visa you have will depend on the type of your study programme, which will in turn impact your work rights. However, students under all visa types WILL be able to work.

In most circumstances students will be able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during academic semester, and may work unlimited hours during term breaks. Students of all visa types are unable to commence work until the official start date of their study programme, and will need to maintain a good academic standard in order to retain the right to work.

Higher Education Sector Visa (Subclass 573)
When you study abroad in Australia this is the visa you’re most likely to have. Students completing their Bachelor Degree (opens in a new window), Associate Degree (opens in a new window), Graduate Certificate or Diploma, Higher Education Diploma or Masters (opens in a new window) by coursework will require this visa.

On this visa you may work up to 40 hours per fortnight during academic term, and unlimited hours during term break. Any type of work that is considered a part of your study programme will not count towards this limit, i.e. a credited internship or training programme that is organised by your university. Certain types of unpaid and volunteer work however WILL count towards the limit.

Postgraduate Research Sector Visa (Subclass 574)
Students with this visa are enrolled in a Masters degree by research, or are completing a Doctorate (opens in a new window) course of study. Beneath this visa you will have unlimited work rights, but cannot commence working until your study programme officially begins. If you are completing a course that is preliminary to your main study programme, such as a Pre-Masters (opens in a new window) course, you will be able to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight, but will have unlimited work rights once your main programme begins.

As an international student you will be able to undertake most types of paid, part-time employment roles across a range of industries, including retail, hospitality, tourism, agricultural, sales and telemarketing, administration or clerical roles and tutoring. You are also allowed to accept part time or casual work within your field if you have existing qualifications and meet specific job requirements.

You will also be able to accept paid or unpaid internship positions as well as complete volunteer work. Voluntary or unpaid work will not count towards the 40 hours if the work is considered a benefit to the community, is for a non-profit organisation or would not be offered as a paid position to an Australian resident: that is, the position is the same for both locals and non-residents. Unpaid work in return for board and lodging will also not count towards your weekly maximum of allowed work hours. Any other type of unpaid work, i.e. professional internships or work placements, WILL count towards your fortnightly quota.

As an international student you will have basic work rights if you choose to accept employment in Australia. This means you are entitled to earn at least a minimum wage, a challenge of an unfair dismissal from a job, standard break and rest periods and the right to a safe working environment. Acceptable working standards for a given industry are covered by what is called an ‘award,’ which outlines employer’s obligations in providing an acceptable work environment. If they do not meet these requirements then they may be held accountable by the government, and you are within your rights to report them.

To work in Australia you will need to obtain a Tax File Number (opens in a new window).

Tax File Number (TFN)
Your tax file number is a reference number the Australian government uses to keep track of your employment situation so they know how much you need to pay in tax per year. You will need this number to accept employment, ensure you’re paying the correct amount of tax and lodge a tax return at the end of the financial year.

You will only ever be issued one TFN. If your circumstances change or for some reason you lose your details, you DO NOT need to re-apply. You can apply for a TFN online visa the Australian Government Taxation Office website. (opens in a new window)

In Australia it’s considered the norm for students to work part-time whilst they study. The type of work they do typically varies depending on which study level they are on, i.e. undergraduate students usually work in the service industry a few days a week, whilst postgraduate students are more likely to undertake junior or training roles directly related to their field as they hold more qualifications. It is also common for postgraduate students to complete traineeships, assistantships or paid research roles either through the university or directly as part of their study programme.

Service Sector
It is most common for both international and local students to work in the service sector whilst they study. Australia has a thriving hospitality industry with a spate of establishments that often seek to employ students. Minimum wages within the service industry go up in brackets based on your age, so students 18-21 will receive a certain salary, whilst those above 21 will receive one that is higher. For this reason many hospitality employers are happy to be flexible in shift times to suit a university student’s timetable, and will often seek to recruit students directly for casual or part-time positions. Working part-time in these sorts of establishments can also be a great way to make new friends and experience student life as a local might.

You can check awards and your work and salary entitlements on the Australian Fair Work Commission website (opens in a new window).

Almost all universities have careers centres that advertise part-time student jobs across a range of industries. If you’re looking for a job that’s either university-based or more related to your field of study, your university job board will probably be your best bet. Employers and companies often approach universities hoping to poach students studying certain fields to fill positions that require a bit of specialist knowledge, i.e. lab assistant, computer technician assistant. Many students secure internships, junior professional positions such as assistants and work experience positions through their university. You might also secure an administration position within the university, such as at the reception desk of a particular faculty, within the university library or even as a research assistant with a professor.

Sometimes there are positions available on campus with commercial companies that are affiliated with the university, such as within the university bookstore or at a campus café. These are almost always advertised internally.

Work Experience and Volunteering
As an international student you will be able to accept work experience, internship and volunteer positions, and will have the right to search for and undertake these positions under the same conditions as local students. This means that you’re able to search directly for positions on organisation websites, chase up advertisements seen privately or even approach a company and inquire if they have any work experience positions available. In all cases, you will be required to produce a cover letter introducing yourself and an up-to-date CV.

Many organisations advertise these types of positions through universities as they are often specifically tailored for students with a bit of knowledge in their field. In Australia employers value confidence highly and will appreciate the initiative taken in contacting them and asking for work, as long as you don’t appear too entitled or pushy.

You will be able to find work using any of the resources a local student would. If not advertised by your university job board, you should look online at popular, all-industry job websites such as (opens in a new window) and Australian JobSearch (opens in a new window). There are also a number of industry-specific job websites that may also advertise internship and work experience positions, such as (opens in a new window) for Media (opens in a new window), Music (opens in a new window) and Arts (opens in a new window) students, as well as professional networks that focus on a particular field. For example, The Loop (opens in a new window) is an online network where creative professionals, students and employers can create a profile, upload and browse portfolios and search for jobs.

Jobs are also advertised in daily state and local newspapers, whilst service sector jobs can sometimes even be advertised by a sign in a shop or café window.

It’s also acceptable in Australia within service industries and smaller companies to walk into an establishment and simply ask if there is a position vacant. Make sure you have an updated copy of your CV with you, a TFN ready and a working Australian mobile phone number.

Unlike in some other English-speaking countries, there is no automatic right associated with your student visa to stay on and work for a period of time in Australia after you complete your degree. When you receive your student visa, the government lets you in on basis of temporary entry for study with the understanding that you will leave upon completion of course and before the visa will expire. However, Australia continues to have demand for foreign workers, and students that have earned a degree in Australia have a special work visa category. There are also several other visa categories open to international students, and Australia has a very straightforward path to permanent residency using a points system . If you want to stay and work after you graduate, you must apply and obtain a work visa.
Here are a few of the categories of visa that are available:
485 Skilled Graduate Temporary Visa
This visa is the most common option available to international students after graduating. With a 485 visa, you are allowed to stay in Australia for 18 months to gain work experience only if you have just completed at least two years of study in Australia.

402 Training and Research Visa
Another option for international students, the 442 visa is for students to improve their work skills for up to two years while being sponsored by an employer.

487 Regional Sponsored Visa
This visa provides a pathway for permanent residency while allowing you to work for 3 years and work in a specialized regional area

887 Skilled Regional Residence Visa
The 887 visa awards you permanent residency and with this you can live and work in Australia permanently. You must have already lived in Australia for two years, have a year of work experience and have sufficient points.

885 Skilled Independent Residence Visa
The 885 visa allows you to live as a permanent resident and work without needing to be sponsored

886 Skilled Sponsor Resident Visa
The 886 visa allows an overseas student to apply for permanent residency and work while being sponsored by an employer.

As mentioned above, Australia uses a point system to see if someone qualifies for most visas. The point evaluations will be assessed along with your application to see if you qualify. These are a few of the items that gain you points:

English ability or mastery
Occupation in demand
between 19 and 44 yrs of age
Work experience
Australian qualifications (length of study)
To see if you have enough points to pass use the point calculator.

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